Canadian biotech firm Forbes Medi Tech said last week it had reached a deal to supply its cholesterol-lowering Reducol, for use in supplements and functional foods, to South Korea through Iljin Pharmaceuticals.
Forbes said it is expecting to start shipping Reducol made by its joint venture, Phyto-Source, in Pasadena, Texas, in the fourth quarter of 2003 ahead of the launch of Iljin's initial cholesterol-lowering product line scheduled for early next year. The firm is still waiting approval from South Korea's food and drug administration.
The deal sees the brand entering a new market, with a population of around 48 million. Iljin is one of the leading health food manufacturers in the South Korean market and also has exclusive marketing rights for the Herbalife range.
Shares in Forbes Medi-Tech rose more than 10 per cent on Friday, to C$2.15. The stock, which has moved in a yearly range of C$2.79 to 49 cents, has risen 188 per cent since early June, reported Reuters.
Currently only sold in the US, in products such as Pharmavite's Nature Made Cholest-Off product, Reducol is made from plant sterols, derived from forestry by-products.